Concepts of nationality and citizenship vary around the globe. And they can be confusing to unravel in some cases. By and large, European countries follow the law of jus sanguinis, or “right of blood.” Those claiming Italian citizenship generally must do so through jus sanguinis.
The experts at Get Italian Citizenship can help you navigate birthright citizenship with Italy. Our team can handle everything from translation to full citizenship applications. Are you ready to be Italian? Let’s connect and get started.
What Is Jus Sanguinis?
Also called jure sanguinis, jus sanguinis refers to the idea that a person can claim citizenship of a nation by descent. That is, someone can be a citizen of a country if they are the biological descendants of citizens.
This birthright citizenship is common throughout much of the world and is particularly prevalent in the European Union. In its simplest form, jus sanguinis means that a child whose parents are citizens of a particular country is automatically also a citizen. This birthright applies no matter where the child is born.
Many countries, however, expand this to include ancestors farther back. For example, someone with Italian grandparents or great-grandparents may be able to use jus sanguinis to become an Italian national. In fact, Italy is quite liberal with its birthright laws. You can go back as far as needed to establish your citizenship as long as everything falls within the guidelines.
In contrast to jus sanguinis, jus soli is the other standard system to determine citizenship. Jus soli is Latin for “right of soil” and refers to the ability to claim a country’s citizenship by being born there. The parents’ nationality does not matter in this instance. Only about 30 countries offer this path to becoming a citizen, including the United States and Canada.
Some nations follow both rights. The US is one example of this situation. The fourteenth amendment of the US Constitution supports jus soli, but America also bestows citizenship on people born abroad to US citizens.
Does Jus Sanguinis Help with Dual Italian Citizenship?
Claiming Italian citizenship by descent through jus sanguinis is possible for Americans with Italian ancestors. The key is whether or not the Italian-born ancestor naturalized to the US and when.
If that person had a child in the United States while still an Italian citizen, jus sanguinis is likely to apply. If your ancestor naturalized to the US before having their child, then the “right of blood” probably won’t work.
For example, let’s say your great-grandparents were born in Italy and then moved to America. Once they were here, they had three children, and one of those kids was your grandfather. Sometime after their third child was born, they became naturalized citizens of the United States.
Because your great-grandparents were still Italian citizens when they had your grandfather, jus sanguinis is probably in place. By establishing the appropriate paper trail, you may be eligible for dual citizenship with Italy.
How Do You Prove Jus Sanguinis?
To pursue Italian dual citizenship, you will need to gather a lot of information and paperwork. And you will be working with agencies in both countries. Although this is not a fast process, it is well worth it if you receive your Italian passport.
Here are some of the steps you can expect to follow:
- Determine which ancestor was born in Italy. You may already have this information from relatives or personal knowledge. If not, you can use professional genealogy services to determine who was the most recent Italian-born family member.
- If possible, establish your birthright through male relatives. Unfortunately, prior to 1948, Italian law prohibited women from passing citizenship to their children. So establishing jus sanguinis is always more straightforward through a male ancestor. It is not impossible to earn dual citizenship this way, but it does add another layer of work.
- Obtain vital records from Italy. Those seeking to become Italian nationals must establish the bloodline. You will need to track down a copy of your ancestor’s Italian birth certificate. If they married in Italy, it is helpful to get the marriage certificate, as well.
- Gather vital records from the United States. Items such as birth certificates and naturalization records are necessary for determining eligibility. And a paper trail that proves a lack of naturalization papers is equally important.
- Apostille the US documents. When using American records for Italian citizenship, you must apostille them to apply. This means that the US State Department authenticates the records as valid for use overseas. Apostille is much like having a notary, and it needs to go through the state where the documents originated
- Get expert translation for the American records. Now is not the time to rely on your cousin, who happens to speak Italian. For a dual citizenship application, you need a professional translator with experience in this situation.
When all documentation is in place, you will be able to make an appointment at your consulate to apply for Italian dual citizenship. And once everything gains approval, you’ll schedule a passport appointment. Congratulations!
Once you gain your citizenship, you will have so many opportunities available to you. From education to travel to healthcare, the benefits are tremendous, and you can enjoy your new freedom as an Italian citizen. Benvenuto!
Can I Establish Dual Citizenship By Myself?
Anyone is free to go through the process of applying for citizenship with Italy. Some people are able to do all of it on their own.
However, you are much more likely to have a successful experience if you hire a professional service. Because you will need to deal with two countries and two sets of records, the process gets complicated quickly. It also can become cost-prohibitive when you try to do it solo.
Professional citizenship teams already know the process in Italy and America. They have all the necessary skills and tools to establish your ancestry and discover the required documents. These experts also have trusted, expert translators available to make sure everything is by-the-book.
If you want an excellent chance of success without the headache and hassle, then choose an agency that can put in the time and effort on your behalf.
We’re Glad to Serve You
At Get Italian Citizenship, we know this experience firsthand because we had to do it on our own 15 years ago. Our trials and troubles and ultimate success helped us build a streamlined process that we now can offer to you.
Whether you simply need some ancestry research or a full dual citizenship application, our team has you covered. Reach out today, and you’ll be one step closer to being an Italian citizen.